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Thread summary:

LI aging housing stock: ancient infrastructure, sewer system, high taxes, inner suburbs, construction

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Old 11-16-2008, 03:08 AM
 
1,058 posts, read 3,116,025 times
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Many posters have already commented on this issue of LI aging housing stock and our ancient infrastructure. I think these two problems are behind why so many people become disillusioned with LI and want to leave.

Problem 1: LI's housing stock is now mostly between 45 and 60 years old. Most of these homes are first too small for what people want today and often need lots of work - which means an expensive piece of junk requires even more money to be invested to be made suuitable for most people.

Problem 2: Our roads and highways are falling apart. Our schools are falling apart. Most of Suffolk was never hooked up to a sewer system. And yet we pay very high taxes for a crappy infrastructure.

So does it pay to stay and throw good money after bad in an order to eek out a living here?

Have we reached a point of diminishing returns?

This was in todays Wall Street Journal. Look what you can get for $500,000 in Tennessee with taxes under $4000:
Tennessee's Southern Comforts - WSJ.com

Time to pack the bags.
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Old 11-16-2008, 07:55 AM
 
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... and you have to live in Tennessee. Look, you could always live somewhere cheaper, but many people don't want to make the tradeoffs to have a 4,000 square foot house for a stupidly low price. The argument is really a nonstarter. There are parts of the country where I could get even more house for even less money, but that's not the whole calculation.

Many areas manage to be successful despite an aging infrastructure--look at many cities and their inner suburbs. Look at large swathes of LA (have you seen the tiny bungalows that can go for $1M in parts of LA? Not always fantastic areas, either) In most cities, inner suburbia (and the accompanying infrastructure) is of the same vintage as Long Island's, so escaping 1950s/1960s housing can only be done by going to those parts of the Sunbelt which are all new, or going exurban. Neither is an option for many people.

Furthermore, the going will only be good for the first arrivals. Then everything gets congested and everyone's taxes go up to pay for putting infrastructure in, since these areas don't have aging infrastructure, they have little or none.
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:07 AM
 
Location: NY
1,416 posts, read 4,898,658 times
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AlexisT, I completely agree with all you have said! And it is so true that to get new construction for anything resembling a reasonable price, one has to go to areas like the Carolinas or the Sun Belt where there is still 'room for expansion'. Also, in those areas the bulk of new construction seems to be in HOAs and other planned communities, and there are many people (like myself) who would never buy into such a situation no matter how cheap the house was. Even if it was on Long Island!
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Little Babylon
4,087 posts, read 7,169,125 times
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NBRes, IMO the Island hit that tipping point a couple of decades back and has been grinding along since. The housing boom is about the only thing that kept the place going. I can't see anything changing outside of a mass exodus of it's population that would reduce some of the stress on the infrastructure, and a developer buying up large blocks of housing, knocking them down, resizing lots and building new. Of course I doubt what they build will even be as charming as the typical Cape on Clark Street.

As far as the roads, on my last trip up during the summer I had the pleasure of sitting on the Belt and Southern State for a few hours. And that was before rush hour.

With that said the Island will continue to grind along as I don't think it has any option to change.
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:58 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
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nbres, that is why one of my top choices for relocation is eastern Tennessee ; that part has mountains and forests. It is really a beautiful state with a relatively mild climate ( but not Floridian), friendly people and lovely cities. The only thing wrong is that there is..... ....no Cheesecake Factory .
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Old 11-16-2008, 03:00 PM
 
659 posts, read 2,105,695 times
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I do agree that most other areas of the US offer much more for your money than LI. However, do you really want to live in, say, Tenessee. Also, if you don't make a NY salary there, it is not such a bargain.

I guess we on LI are paying for location. I will happily continue to live in my smaller home so that I can stay on LI and I think many people feel the same way. Most of the people leaving LI are people that just can't afford to stay.

If I were retiring, though, I might seriously consider leaving. As a newly married 28 year old, I am looking forward to starting my life on LI.
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:52 PM
 
Location: Huntington
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Nancy, a good way to remedy the Cheesecake Factory deficit in eastern TN is for someone to open one up there - may make a nice investment. Food for thought (no pun intended).
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Old 11-17-2008, 03:00 AM
 
Location: Wellsville, Glurt County
2,845 posts, read 8,921,469 times
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The other day I realized that my car was due for inspection, as my current one expired last week. When I glanced at the sticker on the window, I noticed that the mileage last November 9th was reported as 146,xxx - it's now at 181,xxx. That means I've driven 35,000 miles or so in the last year. The furthest west I've gone is Manhattan, furthest south Coney Island, furthest north Yonkers....that's basically 35k miles all on Long Island roads, and this was a somewhat "light" travel year for me since I worked a desk job between October and February and only had to commute from North Wantagh to Woodbury. I've been working on the road since 2002 in one form or another so I've got plenty of experience with LI's supposedly terrible infrastructure...and I think I know what the problem is:

You're all wimps. You weren't built for this environment, move to Tennessee.

Seriously, the roads are not that bad. If you're in Nassau, you're less than 50 miles from Manhattan and a stones throw from the actual boundaries of our country's largest city. Traffic is to be expected, it's a miracle the roads are only jammed up at both rush hours! There's always shortcuts and side roads which may not be any quicker, but a whole lot less mentally draining than sitting in traffic on the LIE. In Suffolk, the major North-South routes are pretty bad and could be upgraded but again, there are plenty of other off-the-beaten-path options. Blame it on poor planning....a lot of those roads are also pretty dreary looking. Even when the Southern State is backed up, it's at least somewhat pleasant scenery!

I pointed this out in another thread but I might as well repeat it here: the increased traffic congestion on LI is solely a symptom of more people driving, not a symptom of more people. Nassau's population has decreased since the 1960s, while Suffolk's has increased but only at a moderate rate. When you were a kid it only seemed like there were less people because back then not every member of every family owned a car. If more people carpooled or used public transportation (which could also use some work), we'd easily be back at that point.

As for the housing, you can keep the McMansions too. The first two are nice but the third one is nasty. Bigger (and newer) isn't always better, we pay for location here and I'd honestly take the tiny Levitt ranch I grew up in on a 60x100 lot over any of those - so long as one is in NY and one is in TN. I like being close to my neighbors, I like the density of the suburbs and Queens/Brooklyn are appealing to me as well.

If your big complaints about LI are traffic and "overpaying" for small homes/property, you're living in the wrong part of the country and I think a move would be very smart!!
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:46 AM
 
Location: Sound Beach
2,160 posts, read 6,537,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexisT View Post
... and you have to live in Tennessee. Look, you could always live somewhere cheaper, but many people don't want to make the tradeoffs to have a 4,000 square foot house for a stupidly low price. The argument is really a nonstarter. There are parts of the country where I could get even more house for even less money, but that's not the whole calculation.

Many areas manage to be successful despite an aging infrastructure--look at many cities and their inner suburbs. Look at large swathes of LA (have you seen the tiny bungalows that can go for $1M in parts of LA? Not always fantastic areas, either) In most cities, inner suburbia (and the accompanying infrastructure) is of the same vintage as Long Island's, so escaping 1950s/1960s housing can only be done by going to those parts of the Sunbelt which are all new, or going exurban. Neither is an option for many people.

Furthermore, the going will only be good for the first arrivals. Then everything gets congested and everyone's taxes go up to pay for putting infrastructure in, since these areas don't have aging infrastructure, they have little or none.
Exactly. This describes much of Utah (The western US version of NC) perfectly.
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:24 AM
 
9,902 posts, read 12,973,449 times
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The McMansion boom may have seen it's end with the recent financial crisis and the uncertainty of energy prices. A 4,000 square foot house for a family of 4 makes no sense..the only way I'd consider buying a house like that is if was going to involve grandparents living there. Otherwise, it's an incredibly wasteful way of life. If you live on Long Island and can afford to live less than 20 minutes drive from where you work, you do not feel the pain of traffic on a daily basis, and it isn't bad at all. Now, for what I paid for my place in Central Suffolk, I could have bought a large house out in Calverton...but then I'd be driving 2 hours every day, same with my wife. If you make that decision because you want to keep up with the Joneses..that's your issue.
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